Jaipur: Union minister Nitin Gadkari Monday called Jammu and Kashmir a victim of Jawaharlal Nehru’s “wrong policies,” claiming that the BJP government has now rectified the mistakes made by the country’s first prime minister.
He said the recent abrogation of the special status for Jammu and Kashmir under articles 370 and 35-A will spur development there, and urged party workers to create awareness on this.
He claimed Kashmir suffered due to Nehru’s “appeasement policy” that stalled development, encouraged corruption and allowed Pakistan to export terrorism.
He said Nehru accepted the inclusion of Article 370 in the Constitution even though BR Ambedkar was against this.
The road transport and highways minister was addressing party workers and other participants at an event organised by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
He blamed Article 370 for the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. “There was an atmosphere of fear. Hunger, unemployment, rampant corruption and lack of healthcare facilities were among many other problems Jammu and Kashmir faced,” he said.
“But the situation will now rapidly improve after the NDA government’s decision to remove articles 370 and 35-A,” Gadkari said.
“Jammu and Kashmir will now have new investments, industrial development, job creation and overall growth and development,” he predicted.
“The tourism industry will flourish, new institutions will come up and poverty will be eradicated. Every village will have electricity and water,” he said.
In a lighter vein, he said now the son and the daughter of National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah will have equal property rights. He said the changes will not affect Kashmir’s culture and traditions.
Gadkari said the situation in Kashmir had pained all nationalists. The minister said the vision of his party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to make India a global economic power, and the government is working on that without discrimination towards any community or caste.
He reiterated that India will ensure that its share of river waters did not flow into Pakistan, adding that Rajasthan too will benefit from this.